The Electric Kiwi blog

Comparing power deals

  • 2 ways to compare your power deal (without needing a PhD)

    Comparing electricity deals is not easy – especially when many companies offer cashback deals or multiple discounts that make it difficult to calculate which deal will leave you better off in the long run.

    However, help is at hand! There are two free independent websites to help you find out if you’re on the best electricity deal for your household – or if you could do better.



    Whatsmynumber.org.nz tells you how much you could save annually by switching. Its role is to encourage people to check that they’re on a good deal for their household. Powerswitch.org.nz runs the numbers and compares the plans and annual savings available to you.

    Here’s a brief overview of how they work:
    1. Powerswitch
    This website is run by the non-profit organisation Consumer NZ. It provides an estimate of the annual price you would pay for different power company plans available in your area, ranked from cheapest to most expensive.

    The estimates are based on information you enter into their comparison tool and includes discounts (for example, some companies will offer a discount if you choose to pay online).

    The plan description and rates are provided by individual power companies to the Powerswitch team, who run a check on these.

    To use the tool you’ll first need to grab a recent power bill, then fill in an online questionnaire about your household size, how you currently use electricity (e.g. what type of heating you have), your current supplier and what your last bill cost you.

    Pros:
    • Run by the not-for-profit Consumer NZ.
    • The comprehensive questionnaire means you’ll have a better chance of finding the plan that’s right for you.
    • The website will pop up with an information box to make sure you understand a certain type of plan
    Cons:
    • Filling in the questionnaire requires a bit of information gathering, for example, it asks when your hot water cylinder was installed.


    2. What's My Number

    The Electricity Authority (the electricity market regulator) is behind www.whatsmynumber.org.nz.

    This website is designed to give you an idea of how much you could save annually by switching power companies or to a different plan from the same company.
    What’s My Number requires you to just answer 6 simple questions- no bill required. After displaying the dollar amount, you’ll then be directed to the Powerswitch website where you can fill in the detailed questionnaire to bring up the list of potential plans to help you save. (the dollar amounts given by What’s my number are generated from Powerswitch calculations).
    Consumers need to note that What’s My Number estimates assume that you are already on your current power company’s cheapest plan, and do not include special offers.

    How does Electric Kiwi rank?

    Electric Kiwi is currently near or at the top of the rankings for many household categories on the Powerswitch rankings. 

    The annual estimated prices for Electric Kiwi are based on our customers saving 9% of their daily electricity costs during their free Hour of Power, the average Hour of Power savings our customers are achieving. However, shifting more of your daily electricity use into your selected free hour of electricity will increase these savings further. 

    You can also check how much you're estimated to save in your first year with Electric Kiwi compared to your old power company with our easy to use savings calculator

    Find out more about Electric Kiwi’s free Hour of Power here

  • 5 reasons Electric Kiwi won't come knocking

    kiwi switch

    Knock, knock. Who’s there? Not us!

    The latest Consumer New Zealand power company survey found that nearly two thirds of Kiwis were cold-called or door-knocked by a power company in the last year.

    You won’t find us interrupting your dinner to offer you our latest and greatest deal.

    That’s because we don’t have any - our customers are already getting our best price.


    Electric Kiwi wasn’t included in the Consumer survey this year, as we only launched during the month the survey was undertaken. But we’ll definitely be taking note of what makes customers happy – and what doesn’t.

    Consumer New Zealand says price remains the primary ‘pain point’ for consumers. 50 percent of respondents were “a bit concerned” and 26 percent were “very concerned” about the cost of energy their household used.

    At Electric Kiwi, our only deal is ‘Low Prices Up Front’. Here’s what we mean:

    1. No deals 

    No multiple discounts or one-off join up offers to cloud the rates you’ll be paying long term. We put forward our best rate every time.

    2. Simple low rates

    Electric Kiwi has a very simple rate: pay for what electricity you use (per kWh unit); plus a fixed cost per day.

    3. GST included

    Some companies show you their rates without GST added. We tell you the GST-included price, so there’s no surprises at bill time.

    4. No bill shock

    Your online customer account shows you exactly how much electricity you use each day, including a rolling tally of your electricity costs (and your savings through your free Hour of Power). Again, it adds up to no surprises come bill time.

    5. Compare our prices

    The Consumer survey found that 64 percent of consumers believed it paid to shop around. We’ve launched an easy-to-use Bill Compare tool to help people to compare their current electricity deal with our prices. All you need is a recent bill and a minute of time.

  • 281 million reasons to switch power companies

    281 million

    If all Kiwi households had switched to the cheapest electricity deal in their region last year, they could collectively have saved $281 million. That's a lot of flat whites.

    That's just one of the stats in the Electricity Authority of New Zealand's (EA) annual number-crunch of the residential power market, released on 28 July.

    The EA say on average, Kiwi households could have saved $162 last year by switching to the cheapest power company.



    Those with the most to gain from switching were folks from the Bay of Plenty, with $318 worth of average annual savings.

    Estimated annual savings by region:
    Bay of Plenty - $318
    Otago - $188
    Wellington - $177
    Taranaki - $161
    Canterbury - $150
    Waikato - $147
    Auckland - $136

    Whether it’s $100 or $300, it’s definitely worth spending a minute or two checking out whether you could be better off.

    Compare our power pricing

    We’ve tried to make it easier for people to shop around by introducing our own Bill Compare tool.

    All you need is a recent bill and a spare minute to enter a couple of figures. You’ll be shown how much you could have saved on that bill by being with Electric Kiwi.

    If you like what you see, it then just takes a couple more minutes to complete your details online to sign up with us.

    And that’s it. You don’t need to worry about contacting your current provider – we do all that for you.

    Happy shopping.

  • The top 3 myths about switching power companies

    3 myths

    Is $162 worth a few minutes of your time? Most Kiwis would say yes for sure. So why aren’t more of us shopping around for a better power deal?

    According to the Electricity Authority (EA), last year the average eligible Kiwi household could have saved $162 by switching to a cheaper power deal – and some much more.

    However, they also say there are quite a few misconceptions out there that put people off from shopping around.

    Below are their top three myths about switching power companies – busted for you:

    Myth 1: It's too hard to switch


    “Switching power providers is actually very straightforward, in fact - 90% of New Zealanders who have switched, found it to be an easy process,” says the EA.

    When we started up Electric Kiwi we wanted to make it as easy as possible for people to switch. As a first step, you can directly compare your latest bill with Electric Kiwi’s prices using our Bill Compare tool.

    If you like what you see, the 'JOIN NOW' button at the bottom of the page directs you on to fill in a few more details and that's all you need to do – we contact your current provider for you to let them know you’re leaving.

    There are also two independent websites you can use to shop around. Firstly, the EA-run www.whatsmynumber.org.nz lets you know your potential annual savings. This directs you on to www.powerswitch.org.nz which compares companies and plans.

    Myth 2: I haven't heard of some of these new electricity retailers, so they might not be as good


    The EA says, “Your choice of electricity retailer makes no difference to the reliability of your electricity supply.
    “The reliability of your electricity supply depends on the performance of your local distribution company and Transpower (who operate the national electricity grid). So, no matter which electricity retailer you choose the reliability of your supply will be the same.”

    Myth 3: If I switch providers, my power could be cut off during the process


    Rest assured on this one. Explains the EA, “When switching providers, the only thing that changes is the provider that is billing you. Best of all, your new retailer takes care of the switching process.”

  • The easiest money saving tip you'll get this year

    Too hard basket

    The numbers are out. In 2015 a record number of New Zealand consumers (419,000) switched their electricity provider, resulting in potential savings of more than $24 million.

    Those 419,000 people would have found out (if they didn’t already know) that switching to a cheaper power company is one of the easiest and quickest money savers out there.

    This is because the power company does all the work for you. All you have to do is give us your details. Electric Kiwi takes care of the rest, including contacting your current power company and getting them to do a final reading and issue you with a final bill.

    With companies like Electric Kiwi, you don’t even need to get on the phone to switch to us. Just enter your details on our website and you’re done. All up, it takes less than 5 minutes.

    What happens when you switch:

    1. Once you’ve signed up to Electric Kiwi, you’ll receive a confirmation email from us to let you know the switch is underway. Legally, your previous power company has 10 working days to sort this with us, but in reality it often happens much quicker.

    2. Your power stays connected the entire time, so it’s completely painless.

    3. You’ll receive another email from us when the switch is complete. From this point on you'll be getting our low every day prices and free daily Hour of Power.

    4. You’ll receive your final bill from your former power company, and your first bill from us will come a month after the switch over date. The best way to compare power deals:

    There are a couple of great independent websites which let you see how much you could save by switching power companies.

    1. Whatsmynumber.org.nz is run by the Electricity Authority. Enter in a few very quick details for a dollar figure for how much you could save by switching to the cheapest deal in your area.

    2. Powerswitch.co.nz is run by Consumer New Zealand. This provides a ranked list of power options ranked from cheapest to more expensive. It also notes the details of the plans (for example if you are required to be locked in to a contract or not – so you know, Electric Kiwi does not have contracts.)

    3. We’ve tried to make directly comparing power deals even easier by providing our own Price Comparison Calculator.

    Just enter a couple of details from a recent power bill and our calculator will show you how much you could have saved over the same period with Electric Kiwi. 85% of people who’ve used the calculator have found they would have been better off with us…so it’s definitely worth spending 30 seconds to find out!

  • How to cut down your winter power bill

    As we head in to winter, check out Electric Kiwi's top 5 tips on how to cut down your power bill:

    5 Top Tips for Cutting Down Your Winter Power Bill



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